NAPSNet Daily Report 31 October, 1997

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 31 October, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 31, 1997,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Japanese Wives of DPRK Citizens

The Associated Press (“JAPAN, NKOREA IN DIPLOMATIC GESTURE,” Tokyo, 10/30/97) reported that Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka announced the names of 15 Japanese women living in the DPRK who are to be allowed to briefly visit their homeland next month. The women will arrive in Japan November 8 for a six-day reunion with family members. “With the realization of the first visit of the Japanese wives and our hope for a second one, the negotiations for normalization of diplomatic relations [between Japan and the DPRK] are improving,” Muraoka said

2. Food Aid for DPRK

Agence France-Presse (“CUBA SENDS 10,000 TONS OF SUGAR TO NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 10/31/97) reported that the DPRK Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Friday that Cuba sent 10,000 tons of sugar to the DPRK to help relieve the famine. KCNA said the shipment of free sugar arrived in Nampo port on Monday, and called the gift “a clear manifestation of the Cuban party and government’s will to set store by and further consolidate and develop the bilateral relations of friendship … based on the deep intimacy between the great leader comrade Kim Jong-Il and esteemed comrade Fidel Castro Ruz.”

3. ROK Presidential Election

United Press International (“S.KOREA OPPOSITION JOINS FORCES,” Seoul, 10/31/97) reported that ROK opposition leader Kim Dae-jung on Friday reached an agreement with Kim Jong-pil to field a single opposition candidate for president. Kim Jong-pil was once accused of trying to have Kim Dae-jung killed while the former was head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency.

4. US-PRC Summit Meeting

The New York Times (Alison Mitchell, “CHINA’S LEADER IS REBUKED BY U.S. LEGISLATORS ON HUMAN RIGHTS,” Washington, 10/31/97) and the Washington Post (Helen Dewar and John E. Yang, “JIANG VOWS COOPERATION, BUT ON CHINA’S TERMS,” 10/31/97, A01) reported that, in a meeting with members of the US Congress, PRC President Jiang Zemin emphasized the importance of the Taiwan issue to improving US-PRC relations, and argued that Taiwan should become part of the PRC much as Hong Kong did. Jiang deferred questions about nuclear proliferation to his foreign minister, Qian Qichen, who denied that the PRC had contributed to the spread of nuclear weapons. Following the meeting with lawmakers, Jiang gave a luncheon address to foreign policy organizations, in which he argued that the most important test of the US-PRC relationship is US policy toward Taiwan, saying, “The U.S. government has reiterated on many occasions its commitment to the `One China’ policy and the three joint communiques. As much as we appreciate that, we hope these words will count and be followed by productive actions.” He added that the Taiwan issue can be resolved peacefully only “so long as foreign forces do not interfere with China’s reunification.”

5. US-PRC Nuclear Cooperation

The Associated Press (Barry Schweid, “CLINTON TO CLEAR WAY FOR NUKE SALE,” Washington, 10/30/97) reported that US President Bill Clinton soon will assure Congress that the PRC will forgo any suspicious sale of technology that could be used to develop nuclear weapons to Iran and other nations, clearing the way for US firms to sell the PRC nuclear reactors worth tens of billions of US dollars. The White House said that PRC President Jiang Zemin’s agreement at his summit with Clinton not to help states trying to develop nuclear weapons was the first time the PRC had taken “concrete steps to prevent nuclear proliferation that threatens the interests of both countries.” US State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said Thursday that the PRC privately provided specific assurances in writing on what kinds of technology would not be exported. He added that the PRC would go beyond the restriction of withholding technology from facilities that are not under international inspection and will not engage in any new nuclear cooperation with Iran of any kind. However, US Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said that he was opposed to the terms of Clinton’s decision to cooperate with the PRC on peaceful nuclear development, arguing that PRC leaders “want the treat of U.S. nuclear exports and the trick of assisting Iran and Pakistan to build the so-called Islamic bomb.” Markey said he would try to tighten restrictions in a 1985 law that permits cooperation with the PRC on peaceful nuclear projects. Representative Benjamin A. Gilman (R- N.Y.), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, likewise accused Clinton of pursuing a policy of appeasement and said that he had serious concerns about the PRC sales of missile and nuclear technology.

6. Japanese Reaction to US-PRC Summit

Reuters (Eugene Moosa, “JAPAN HEAVES SIGH OF RELIEF OVER U.S.-CHINA SUMMIT,” Tokyo, 10/30/97) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on Thursday downplayed the differences between US President Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin at their Wednesday summit, saying, “When two state leaders meet, there are bound to be a certain amount of disagreements. It is absolutely not a minus when two countries make efforts to maintain relations despite those disagreements.” He also cautioned, “It will be impossible to achieve stability in Asia if the triangle formed by the three countries of the United States, China and Japan is shaky.” Reacting to Hashimoto’s statement, Japanese security expert Haruo Fujii said, “Japan has always played this two-way game with China and the United States.” He added, “While Japan does have economic influence with both parties, it has neither the political will or know-how to play the mediator.” Fujii argued that both the PRC and the US are aware of Japan’s position as an economic superpower but political dwarf. Speaking of PRC objections to the Guidelines for US-Japan Security Cooperation, Fujii said, “China can raise the issue any time now, but I don’t think China will do so in the next few weeks after the U.S.-China summit.”

7. Taiwan Reaction to US-PRC Summit

Reuters (Jeffrey Parker, “WARY TAIWAN SEES NEW STAGE IN US-CHINA TIES,” Taipei, 10/30/97) reported that Taiwanese leaders expressed concern over Wednesday’s US-PRC summit. President Lee Teng-hui, while presiding over a televised military parade Thursday, stated, “Without security we have nothing.” He warned, “Since we have allowed private exchanges across the Taiwan strait, our compatriots have relaxed their attention to the Chinese communists’ potential threat.” Taiwan officials said that the timing of the military review was pure coincidence and not related to the US-PRC summit. Taiwan Premier Vincent Siew meanwhile said there were no surprises in the Jiang-Clinton summit, telling the Taiwan cabinet, “The United States has not deviated from its existing policy but this meeting marks the beginning of a new stage between the United States and the Chinese communists.” He said Taiwan hoped the summit would help the PRC promote Asian stability, strengthen its economy and deepen democracy and human rights, but warned, “We have to be careful if the Chinese communists use this new situation to step up efforts to oppress us internationally.” Foreign minister Jason Hu said that if Jiang were able to woo the US into believing that the PRC would not use force to retake Taiwan, the US might be persuaded to stop selling arms to the island, which “definitely would hurt our interests.” Hu issued a statement saying, “Since the U.S. government places great emphasis on freedom, democracy and human rights, it must clearly understand that the issues in the Taiwan strait are precisely about freedom, democracy and human rights.” He added, “Strengthened contacts between the United States and Chinese communists should not come at the expense of U.S.- Taiwan ties.” Meanwhile, about 200 Taiwan independence activists burned US and PRC flags in an overnight protest, chanting “Say no to China! Say yes to Taiwan!” and “Long live Taiwan independence!”

8. PRC-Russian Relations

Reuters (“RUSSIA’S YELTSIN TO VISIT CHINA NEXT MONTH,” Beijing, 10/30/97) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tang Guoqiang said on Thursday that Russian President Boris Yeltsin is to pay a three- day state visit to the PRC from November 9 to 11 at the invitation of PRC President Jiang Zemin. Tang said that the summit, the fifth between the two countries, would “further promote the comprehensive development of the coordinated strategic Sino-Russian partnership.” The two sides plan to issue a joint declaration, sign a number of agreements on bilateral cooperation and make an important announcement concerning demarcation of the eastern section of the Sino-Russian frontier, he said. The Sino-Russian Friendship, Peace and Development Committee will hold its first meeting during the visit.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Four-Party Peace Talks

The US and the PRC agreed to press the DPRK to enter into formal talks on a Korean peace treaty, US President Bill Clinton said Wednesday. The DPRK has attended preliminary talks with the ROK, the PRC and the US on launching formal peace negotiations on a treaty that would replace the 1953 armistice. The latest round of talks in September broke down after Pyongyang demanded more food aid and insisted that US troop withdrawal from the ROK be placed on the agenda. (Korea Times, “CLINTON, JIANG AGREE TO PUSH FOR 4-WAY KOREAN PEACE TALKS,” 10/31/97)

The ROK Thursday praised the agreement between US President Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin at their summit talks in Washington Wednesday to work together toward building a durable peace on the Korean Peninsula through the four-party talks. An ROK Foreign Ministry official said the ROK will continue its close cooperation with countries involved to ensure the success of the four-party peace talks. (Korea Herald, “SOUTH KOREA PRAISES US-CHINA SUMMIT,” 10/31/97)

2. Food Aid to DPRK

The ROK Agency for National Security Planning (NSP) said Thursday that there is increasing evidence that the DPRK is diverting international food aid to the military. One recent defector, a party official from North Hamgyong Province, testified that 1,000 tons of corn specifically donated to the Rajin-Sonbong area by an ROK civic group, the Korea Buddhist Sharing Movement, was seized by DPRK soldiers. The NSP said that there is a constant stream of word-of-mouth reports flowing out of the PRC that indicate that civilians are not getting the food aid but are being told to tell a different story to international relief workers. Meanwhile, those with access to international aid are also suspected of misusing it by selling some in foreigner’s shops or in the farmer’s markets in the DPRK. (Korea Herald, “EVIDENCE OF MISUSE OF FOOD AID IN NORTH EMERGING: NSP,” 10/31/97)

3. DPRK Military Buildup

A high ranking ROK government source said Thursday that the DPRK has recently expanded its three Air Wing units to six divisions, deployed tactical planes, increased training flights two-fold, and intensified night infiltration training. The DPRK is operating an automatic air surveillance network and last May tested anti-air missiles with a range of 220 km. He said the DPRK also added three more scout missile sites. The DPRK has 1.2 million tons of provisional food, 1.46 million tons of oil, and 1.87 tons of ammunition–altogether a three-to-four month reserve. Training hours for students increased from 160 hours a year to 450 hours. The source also said the DPRK increased the number of long range artillery, such as rocket launchers, from 270 to 558, and the number of special forces to between 100,000 to 120,000. The source also said the DPRK increased the number of bases to be used for infiltrating the South by a factor of four to 17. The latest base, located in Kosong, is only 5.5 km from the DMZ, and it was confirmed that one submarine and three support ships are also stationed there. The number of submarines intended to be used for invasion has also jumped from six to 14. (Chosun Ilbo, “NORTH SHARPLY STRENGTHENS AIR AND NAVAL CAPABILITY,” 10/31/97)

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Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Shin Dong-bom:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Choi Chung-moon:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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